Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter
We are not gods. This basic truth is obvious yet it is easily forgotten. Subconsciously, we sometimes seek to be gods as we grasp for control, power, prestige, and pleasure. Or we imagine that other people whom we esteem are gods. That is what the people do to Paul and Barnabus in today’s readings. They are so impressed with the message of God that they mistake these messengers for the true God. As the Eastern saying goes, the finger pointing at the moon is not the moon. Yet Paul and Barnabus suffer from no such illusion. Immediately, they “tore their garments” in response to the people’s foolishness.
They lived out the psalm response of “Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.”
In what ways must we too renounce our subtle aspirations of beings gods or of turning other people into false gods? For example, one of the best pieces of marriage advice I ever heard was: don’t expect your spouse to be a god. There are needs within us that only the true God can meet. Jesus promises to each person who follows Him that the Father and He “will come to him and make our dwelling with him.” Then we will be satisfied in ways that no other human, let alone ourselves, can satisfy us.